A Cassandre (Mignonne allons voir si la rose) for spoken voice and bassoon

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Description

Setting of Ronsard’s poem “A Cassandre”
for spoken voice and bassoon
In the sound sample the poem is spoken in modern French by my father S N Solomons
who also created an English version as shown below

The bassoon part is based on the song “To Cassandra” for alto and guitar, using my father’s

translation, which is also available on this site

Mignonne, allons voir si la rose
Qui ce matin avoit desclose
Sa robe de pourpre au Soleil,
A point perdu ceste vesprée
Les plis de sa robe pourprée,
Et son teint au vostre pareil.

Las ! voyez comme en peu d’espace,
Mignonne, elle a dessus la place
Las ! las ses beautez laissé cheoir !
Ô vrayment marastre Nature,
Puis qu’une telle fleur ne dure
Que du matin jusques au soir !

Donc, si vous me croyez, mignonne,
Tandis que vostre âge fleuronne
En sa plus verte nouveauté,
Cueillez, cueillez vostre jeunesse :
Comme à ceste fleur la vieillesse
Fera ternir vostre beauté.

[English translation by SN Solomons]

Darling, come see the rose so red,
Which this morn timidly had spread
Her mantle to the eye of day.
Come see if she has lost this e’en
Her crimson pleated robe’s soft sheen,
That same blush which on your cheek plays.

See how in but a paltry hour
She has let fall her ailing flower.
Her beauty lies there in the dust!
Alas! How cruel is Mother Nature,
Since such a blossom can endure
Only from trembling dawn to dusk.

Darling you must indeed believe,
Whilst innocence within you cleaves
The bud and blooms in purity,
Garner the gifts of tender youth,
For, like this flower, age in sooth
Will sadly spoil and tarnish beauty.]

Video:

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